Night driving is actually a different skill set from daytime driving, which is why teen drivers need to log additional hours of night driving while practicing for their driver’s license. Night driving is more dangerous and can be trickier, so we want all drivers on the road to have practice and understanding that will help them stay safe on the roads. Night driving increases accidents, visual impairment, poor road conditions, and riskier behaviors.

Ideally, you could avoid driving in the dark at all, but it’s just not realistic. So how can you stay safer when you have to drive late at night? Utah Injury Lawyers shares how to be a safe night driver in the following easy tips:

1. Use Your Headlights

This seems fairly obvious, but failing to use your headlights in dark or twilight hours is more than just bad practice. Driving laws require your vehicle to use all headlights and taillights for visibility. Forgetting to turn on your lights can make it difficult or impossible for you to see obstacles and street signs, as well as making you invisible to other drivers. Turn on your headlights even earlier than you think you might need to – they could save a life.

2. Reduce Interior Lights

Driving with your dashboard or dome lights on inside your cab can make it difficult to accurately see the dark surroundings, even increasing glare. Figure out how to turn down the brightness of your interior dashboard lights and keep them low when you drive at night. Keep any phone screens tilted away from the driver so vision isn’t impaired.

3. Clean Your Windshield

Any dirt, smears, or chips can create serious glare from your windshield. At night all of the artificial light is more likely to be distorted and makes it difficult to accurately see your surroundings. Depth perception, in particular, is lessened in dark nighttime hours, so do your best to keep the glass in your car completely clear.

4. Rest

Far too many accidents and car crash fatalities occur due to drowsy driving. Falling asleep at the wheel is common and incredibly dangerous for everyone on the road. Take a brief nap if you notice yourself feeling tired, or stop for a caffeine pick-me-up. Even if you feel alert, take frequent breaks while driving in the night since your eyes are straining in the darkness.

5. Drive Defensively

Unfortunately nearly half of all car accidents occur in night hours. Whether it’s drunk drivers, late-night pedestrians, drowsy drivers, or simply an impaired vision in the dark, it’s just more dangerous to drive at night. For this reason, it’s critical that you learn to drive defensively. Driving defensively means keeping stock of the cars around you and potential hazards, such a driver who is weaving in and out of lanes, or looking for pedestrians or other obstacles.

Carefully minding these night driving tips can keep you safe and healthy even if you’re driving through the night. If you do find yourself the victim of a nighttime crash, call Utah Injury Lawyers for your claim assistance.